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Sativex Cannabis pain relief drug already available in NZ

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Manufacturer British GW Pharmaceuticals dominates world medical cannabis

Specialists have warned about the little-understood health consequences of cannabis and the generalised confusion emanating from New Zealand parliamentary circles about its true effects and even current medical availability.

They specifically cite as one rarely-comprehended danger the vulnerability to addiction of children and adolescents considered “four to seven” times greater than the long term addiction at the same age of tobacco users.

One gap in the information emanating from the Parliamentary Precinct, according to the scientists, was the absence of discussion about the authorised existence of the cannabis by-product the spray called 'Sativex'.

It is available on prescription in New Zealand and many other nations.

It was initially approved under prescription in Canada.

Sativex is derived from actual cannabis. It is made from the whole plant and is not synthetic.

It is made from a concentrate and delivered as a mouth spray. This means that it is chemically consistent in every batch.

Sativex is a whole plant-based mouth spray. It is made by British manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals.

It is currently available in 25 countries, according to the drug’s manufacturer

The British public company’s claim is that it is “the global leader in developing cannabinoid-based medicines.”

GW Pharmaceuticals plc is also listed on NASDAQ.

Bio-scientists question the political mixed message communiques on cannabis and health to the effect that consumption of it carries medical benefits.

They challenge exactly how the beneficial effects of cannabis plants can be touted when from a scientific-medical point of view these vary considerably given the provenance of the plant in its organic, raw material form.

A vacuum both political and medical in the present public debate centred on the pending referendum remains that there is little data regarding the range of potency of the various strains along with the other ingredients needed for the desired medical effects.

The specialists advised that it cannot be predicted how medically helpful any such plant material will be without scientific analysis on each sample.

From a public health point of view they also questioned how a Parliament officially engaged in curbing tobacco consumption can reconcile simultaneously being engaged in anything that increases public access to another such carcinogenic drug.

Reviewing the plethora of bush bio chemistry advice radiating from Wellington, the scientists observed that cannabis can have undesirable effects because:-

• It leads to disorders. Those before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop it. In the US 17% of that age group in the will become dependent.

• The long term effects of cannabis on the developing brain are serious and worrying for this age group, as stated in the US National Institute of Drug Addiction research report in February 2018.

• There are reasons to believe that smoking marijuana is probably much more likely to cause lung cancer than tobacco.

• Why is self-medication with NZ cannabis touted when there is little idea what is in it?

Meanwhile GW Pharmaceuticals has developed an oral formulation of cannabis known as Epidiolex for drug-resistant epilepsy. This is the first cannabis plant-derived medicine, the company claims, approved by the United States Federal Drug Administration.

The chairman of the 20 year old GW Pharma is Lord William Waldegrave former British secretary of state for health.